“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Little Annie was three years old, and it was time for her to go for a routine check-up at the doctor’s office. As the doctor checked her ears, he found “something blue” in one. Annie’s mom was a little surprised to hear that! Annie had not said her ear was hurting, nor had she seem bothered by it. Annie’s mom started wondering how long this “something blue” had been in Annie’s ear! The doctor left the room and came back with an assistant and some tools to try to remove the blue object. As they tried to take it out, Annie screamed, fought, and cried. Her ear was really starting to hurt now! Finally, the doctor pulled out a rather large blue bead!
Then Annie’s mom remembered that several months before, Annie had come to her with a broken necklace, saying something about putting a bead in her ear. Annie’s mom saw how big the other necklace beads were, and she doubted that anything so big could even fit in Annie’s ear! She looked and looked, but she could not see any bead in there, and Annie never complained about her ear hurting. So they both forgot about it.
Wow! Little Annie had stuck that big blue bead into her ear, and she did not even know it was going to hurt her. We might never stick beads in our ears, but sometimes we let other things into our ears without thinking first. What about wrong teaching? God wants us to test everything we hear before we just believe it. He wants us to read His Word and use its truth to make sure things we hear are true. If we listen to teaching just because it makes us feel good about ourselves or about what we want to do, it will be bad for us in the future.
Remember, Annie hardly noticed she had the bead in her ear, and it did not seem like a problem because it was not hurting her. It did not hurt her at first, but it could have done a lot of damage in the future! The doctor explained that the bead had been hard to take out because it was so large and was resting right on Annie’s eardrum. The bead had bruised and torn Annie’s ear canal on its way out, but the doctor said it should heal and not cause any hearing loss.
Wrong teaching tells us lies that make us feel good about ourselves and what we are doing. The more we listen to wrong teaching, the more tempted we are to excuse our sin, and the less we care about what God thinks of our sin. Wrong teaching leads to sinful habits, and sin blocks out all the good things God wants us to hear, understand, and enjoy. Over time, we become used to wrong thinking and sinful habits. We do not notice the damage wrong teaching has created in our lives. Once an embedded sin habit is discovered, it is really hard to remove. In the meantime, it can block our enjoyment and fellowship with God and others. Wrong teaching will have long-lasting effects, and it can leave painful scars.
The other day, Annie told her mom that when she turns five years old, she wants to take piano lessons. She said, “I can hear music a lot better now!” Annie probably never would have chosen to go to the doctor and have all the pain of getting the bead pulled out; but in the end, she realized it was the best thing.
God warns us against letting wrong teaching get “stuck in our ears.” He wants us to be able to hear Him and think rightly about His Word. He wants to shield us from the painful lessons that come with sin.
We should listen to God’s Word, and refuse to listen to the lies of others.
» Is my heart open to anything God’s Word, the Bible, teaches?
» Am I willing to follow God even if it means turning away from teachers who say wrong things about God and God’s Word?